Award-winning restaurant, LUST Bistro & Bakery, has announced the appointment of Johan van Schalkwyk as new Head Chef. Upholding a high cooking standard, the new chef’s aim is to focus on fresh and organic produce.
Growing up, Van Schalkwyk was infused with a love for food as the middle child of three hungry boys. Both his parents were good cooks and he spent weekends baking scones, cakes and having Sunday cook-offs with his brothers. Initially he did not consider a career in cooking opting rather to study construction management. Later, at the age of 28, he decided to follow his passion for food and enrolled at Elsa van der Nest Culinary Academy, where he was top of his class.
In 2003, he took up the position of Head Chef of a chateau in Normandy, France. Here he discovered the beauty of working with fresh, seasonal ingredients. “They had their very own organic vegetable garden from which to prepare meals. I would walk through the garden every day, filling my baskets with what the head gardener had to offer. Once back in the kitchen, I would start working on the menus for the day.” He says fresh produce shaped his cooking style and standards as a country chef – not complicating flavours, but rather letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
On his return to South Africa he worked at various restaurants in Cape Town before starting his own restaurants. His aim at LUST Bistro and Bakery is to marry his country style of cooking with that of patron chef and bistro owner, Jean-Pierre Smith and fulfil his love for making people happy – “done through good food and wine.”
Along with his ambitions as Head Chef, Van Schalkwyk hopes to make his mark in the hospitality industry as a whole. “I believe there are not enough quality chefs around. I would love to give back by training and sharing the skills that I have been fortunate to develop.”
www.lustbistro.com | 021 874 1456